Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,
If anyone in all of history was falsely arrested and unjustly condemned that person would be Jesus of Nazareth, The Christ. Not only was he not guilty of the charges for which he was arrested, He was not guilty of anything. And I mean absolutely anything! Jesus was the unblemished lamb. And so, if anyone had the right to be protected from those arresting Him, it would be Jesus. However, Jesus reprimanded His followers when they responded to violence with violence. Not just because this was His Father's Will, but also because He knew that, "those who lived by the sword, died by the sword." Violence, no matter how just it may seem, only begets more violence.
It's all too easy to find excuses, from self-defense to "it's only a movie." But even our entertainment chips away at us. It all has an impact on how we live, not to mention the values that we pass on to our children.
But more importantly, the real issue is our faith! We claim to be disciples of The Prince of PEACE, and yet, how much violence is in our everyday lives? From the movies we watch (and which ones get top billing), to the way we drive, to the amount we spend on the military, and even our language. Imagine if ALL 2.2 billion Christians embraced peace in their lives and strived to live non-violent lives. Just imagine if they threw a war and no one came! While even Pope Francis is having a hard time convincing Christians to live in peace, each of us has the power to control our own lives, to make changes in the way we live that demonstrates the Peace of Christ. We are each called to be Christ for the world, to model Christ by the way we live our lives. ...How are you doing church?
I realize it isn't easy. It wasn't easy for Jesus. It wasn't easy for those disciples like St. Francis, Blessed Oscar Romero, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and so many others who dared to live non-violent lives in the spirit of Jesus Christ. While it isn't easy, it is clear that the lives of these people have had a profound impact on the world. Imagine the lives you could impact, and maybe even the lives you could save, by bringing a little more peace into the world; by bringing a bit more peace into your own little corner of that world.
In the Redeemer,